Today as I jotted down ideas in my notebook while riding the Hogwarts Express, I thought, of course, about the woman who famously wrote down an idea while riding a train.
J.K Rowling had the idea for a story about a boy who discovers he’s a wizard and travels to his magical school by train. Back then, the idea of the Hogwarts Express lived only in Rowling’s head, and now the train exists in the world. Painted red and gold, it steams and rumbles across Harry Potter World, the theme park created around Rowling’s story.
I spent the day exploring Harry Potter World and it was–well, magical. As I sat down for lunch and finished Steven Pressfield’s The War Of Art, a thought occurred to me.
Harry Potter is only here because Rowling won the battle against resistance.
For the month of March, I’ll be blogging once everyday. Today as I brainstormed what to write about first, a voice crept into my head. Your ideas suck, it said. You also aren’t a good writer. This is the voice of what Steven Pressfield calls Resistance. Resistance is the force that goes against human creativity. For myself and many others, it’s the voice in my head saying, your work isn’t good enough, don’t do it.
What if J.K Rowling had given in to resistance? She could have listened to Resistance, which said that Harry Potter was a silly idea. Yet she fought resistance and won. She finished the first Harry Potter novel. And Resistance came back. Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers. At this point, Resistance was probably telling Rowling to give up, yet she kept trying.
Rowling didn’t know the impact Harry Potter would have on the world. Like the rest of us, she was scared of creating art, but when she went against her Resistance, her art went on to change her life and become a worldwide phenomenon.
Well, Resistance says to us, your idea could never be as good as Harry Potter. So why not give up? Resistance has gotten good at talking you out of your dreams. As I think about creating something new each day for the next month, Resistance whispers ominous questions. What if everyone hates my creations? What if they love them? What if no one notices?
It doesn’t matter. Each time I create something, I win the battle against Resistance. Today I practiced fighting resistance and I won the battle when I hit publish.
And tomorrow I’ll wake up and do it again.